Philippe Coutinho would welcome a reunion with Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard

Philippe Coutinho is keen to leave Barcelona and return to the Premier League in search of regular football; Aston Villa is understood to be one of two English sides that are keen on the midfielder; Coutinho played with current Villa manager Steven Gerrard at Liverpool.

Philippe Coutinho is set to make a decision over his future on Friday and would welcome a reunion with Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard.

Villa is understood to be one of two Premier League sides who are keen to sign Coutinho, who wants to return to England and play regular football.

Coutinho is understood to be more than willing to sign for Villa, who are 13th in the Premier League, as he sees them as an ambitious club that is building something special for the future.

Coutinho's chance to rediscover Liverpool form by re-joining forces with  Gerrard | Marca

The Brazilian midfielder knows Gerrard well having spent two-and-a-half years with him at Liverpool and is said to already know a lot about Villa and their squad.

Coutinho was signed by Barcelona from Liverpool for a club-record £146m in January 2018, but he has struggled to hold down a first-team place at the Nou Camp and spent the 2019/20 season on loan at Bayern Munich.

“Sixty-three caps for Brazil, a serial winner, was incredible at Liverpool, so I can understand why he’s linked to a lot of football clubs,” said Gerrard.

“I can understand why a lot of supporters up and down the country are speaking about him. I don’t think you get a nickname as a magician if you’re not a special footballer, so he’s someone I have an incredible amount of respect for.

“But I don’t want to add to any speculation, because he belongs to Barcelona.”

‘Coutinho a serial winner wherever he’s been’

Coutinho, who has scored 28 goals in 105 games for Barca, has struggled since making his dream move to Catalonia, but still managed to win four major trophies as a bit-part player.

“He won two league titles and two Copa del Reys with Barcelona,” added Gerrard.

Philippe Coutinho: Steven Gerrard coy on Barcelona midfielder amid Aston  Villa interest | Football News | Sky Sports

“I think if you go and have a look at his Wikipedia page I think you’ll see a serial winner wherever he’s been.

“I’ve got nothing but positive things to say about the player, he’s a friend of mine, so if I’m asked the questions I can speak for as long as you want.”

Coutinho also spent the 2019/20 campaign on loan at Bayern Munich and won the Champions League. Also, he won the Bundesliga, and the German Cup under Hansi Flick.

‘Coutinho would be more than happy to play for Aston Villa’

“Speaking to people on the player’s side of the deal, my feeling about this is that Philippe Coutinho would be interested in joining Aston Villa.

“He knows people at Aston Villa. Also, he knows Steven Gerrard and Christian Purslow from his time at Liverpool. He feels Villa is an up-and-coming club. Gerrard, Purslow, and the owners have big plans for the club.

Gerrard a huge admirer of ex-Liverpool star Coutinho

“He also knows the kind of quality in the Villa squad, players like Ollie Watkins, Emi Buendia, and Emi Martinez. Also, he feels if he was playing at Villa regularly, he could help them get up the table and into Europe.

“So, I think that is definitely on the cards. Also, as far as Aston Villa is concerned, of course, they are not giving anything away. They are not commenting at all because as far as they are concerned, he’s a Barcelona player.

“From the player’s perspective, I understand Coutinho would be more than happy to play for Aston Villa and Steven Gerrard.”

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